Val Head - Designer, Consultant and Speaker.

2012 In Review

Warning, totally self-indulgent content to follow. It is a year in review post, after all. It always seems to help make a little list of what happened over the past year to feel really ready to tackle the next one. 2012 was a really fun and busy year for me!

Work Things

I spent the entire year working for myself and I didn’t die or anything even close to that. In fact, it went really well. I got to work with some wonderful talented friends and some equally wonderful clients. I hope to do that even more in 2013! (p.s. Talented pals and awesome clients I haven’t worked with yet, I have some availability for new projects starting in Feb 2013.)

Our Not-So-Little-Anymore Web Design Conference

Jason and I have been running Web Design Day for four years now. This year the event doubled in size, got a new venue and was still totally kick-ass. It was my favourite Web Design Day yet and one of the best days of the year. So many talent web folks in one place! Our speaker and attendees were absolutely wonderful as always. I wish I got to spend time with you all more often!

Teaching

I held my Making Things Move With CSS3 & JS workshop in three different cities and it got wonderful reviews from attendees.(Thanks, everyone!) I had so much fun seeing what everyone created with their new CSS animation skills. I’ll be doing more of these in 2013 too!

For a slight change of pace, I also taught three Processing workshops at HackPittsburgh. Two rounds of Intro to Creative Coding for artists and designers and one Input! workshop, all about using APIs for fun and amusing things. All three were a blast and I think I helped convince at least a few people that programming is fun.

Conferences and Going Places

I spoke at FITC Toronto (and got one of the big rooms this time around, yay!), did my first ever Ignite talk at Eyeo 2012 (it wasn’t even about web design!) and did both a talk and a workshop at D2W.

Outside of speaking gigs I attended ConvergeSE (my first time in SC!), the Eyeo Festival, a tiny bit of Brooklyn Beta, and a lettering workshop with Ken Barber.

The Eyeo Festival was my most favourite conference that I attended for the second year in a row. Sorry other conferences, nothing can really compare. It wasn’t a conference, but Ken Barber’s lettering workshop was a close second in the favourite category. I learned so much!

Writing

I finally got off my butt and wrote for other people’s sites in 2012. And I’m sure glad I did! I contributed a few articles to .net magazine and participated in this year’s 24 Ways. The folks behind both those sites were wonderful to work with and I’m looking forward to getting in even more writing in 2013.

The Best Projects

I got to work on two pretty darn big installations: Pixelpyros and Lunar Trails. Thanks to these, some of my work appeared projected at building-high size in Brighton and in a Dublin art gallery. That’s pretty darn awesome! In addition to being very cool projects, I also got to work with one of my favourite collaborators, Seb, on both.

I made a lot of things in 2012. You might think I just design web sites but I also printed two editions of robot notebooks; designed a font that exists only as instructions in code and built an RFID driven cat picture switcher as a prototype for a client.

Summing It All Up In Some Kind Of Way

The biggest highlight of the year was all the time I got to spend with friends from near and far thanks to conferences and the internet. So many of you lovely folks have offered me priceless advice, helpful criticism, encouragement, and lots of laughs during 2012. I hope I get the chance to return the favour many times over!

So far 2013 is shaping up to be pretty great. I’m really excited to get it started!